From NBC's Kelly O'Donnell
It's not yet a presidential campaign, but "Friends of Fred Thompson" is again showing signs of internal growing pains. Just last Friday, Linda Rozett was on the job and putting out releases, but today -- as we mentioned earlier -- she's out as communications director.
In an interview with NBC News, Rozett characterized her unexpected departure as "not a noteworthy event." She added, "My hope is this will be seen for nothing more than [campaign manager] Bill Lacy bringing his own team together. And while it is not my desired outcome, it happens every day in Washington in politics and with high level communications people." Rozett was told Friday.
In an internal memo to the Thompson staff obtained by NBC, Lacy explains his thinking: "I will have to make a lot of tough decisions to make our venture successful, and this was one of them. Linda is a talented, professional and gracious lady who will be missed. But in the limited amount of time we have, I feel it critical to have a communications point person with significant campaign experience."
Rozett was hired by Tom Collamore, who served as Fred Thompson's first manager of the campaign-in-waiting. Collamore and other staffers left in July amid disagreements over how the Thompson bid should be organized. Although published reports indicated that Thompson's wife Jeri had brought Rozett on board, sources say Rozett had never met Jeri Thompson until she joined the team. Sources say Rozett's tie was actually Thompson adviser Ken Rietz.
Rozett adds that despite her abrupt dismissal, she still wants to see Thompson in the race. Rozett tells NBC, "I continue to support Senator Thompson, Bill Lacey, and the committee."
Rozett had left a position at the US Chamber of Commerce to join Thompson's effort.
Bill Lacy joined Thompson August 8th and previously ran Thompson's successful Senate campaign in 1994.